The City of Monroe will be the site for the 2015 Association of Christian Educators State Basketball Championships beginning Friday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
The two day tournament will conclude on Saturday evening with the crowning of state champions for varsity and junior varsity levels of girls and boys basketball.
The tournament is making a return trip to the region after a successful debut in 2014 that saw more than 1,000 people come to the region for the tournament.
Jon Tellifero, pastor at First United Methodist Church of West Monroe, was one of the organizers and coaches the CHA Flames of Northeast Louisiana.
Tellifero said he hopes that one day the tournament finds a permanent home in Monroe. The 2016 ACE Basketball Championships are expected to be hosted by Lake Charles.
“I look forward to one day it (the state tournament) always being anchored here in Northeast Louisiana,” Tellifero said. “For a comparison, I was in Springfield, Missouri last year during (the NCAA Tournament) and they were bragging about having 800 people there for that. I think what we are doing here is kind of cool.”
As many as 1,500 people are expected to converge on the ULM campus for the tournament which could have a huge economic impact on the region.
Teams from Monroe, West Monroe, Leesville, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Slidell, and Athens are competing this weekend.
The junior varsity boys and girls teams of CHA will compete in the junior varsity tournament along with the CHA varsity girls in their respective bracket. Northeast Baptist School of West Monroe will be represented by the Junior Varsity girls basketball team.
Tellifero said one of the most exciting aspects of the tournament is the experience for the players.
“The phenomenal thing is the fact that this will be the only time most of these kids get to compete on a college court,” Tellifero said.
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Friday, February 20
9 a.m. JV Girls CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION Monroe vs. SOUTHWEST Lake Charles
10 a.m. JV Boys OLD BETHEL vs. CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION Monroe
11 a.m. JV Girls BETHEL Baton Rouge vs. NORTHEAST BAPTIST West Monroe
12 p.m. JV Boys LIGHTHOUSE New Iberia vs. MOUNT OLIVE Athens
1:30 p.m. Varsity Girls CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION Monroe vs. SOUTHWEST Lake Charles
3 p.m. Varsity Boys FAITH TRAING Leesville vs. LIGHTHOUSE New Iberia
4:30 p.m. Varsity Girls BETHEL Baton Rouge vs. FAITH TRAINING Leesville
6 p.m. Varsity Boys SOUTHWEST Lake Charles vs. MOUNT OLIVE Athens
Saturday, February 21
9:30 a.m. JV Girls Consolation Game
10:30 a.m. JV Boys Consolation Game
11:30 a.m. Varsity Girls Consolation Game
1:30 p.m. Varsity Boys Consolation Game
3:00 p.m. JV Girls Championship Game
4:00 p.m. JV Boys Championship Game
5:00 p.m. Varsity Girls Championship Game
6:30 p.m. Varsity Boys Championship Game